The European Court declared the battery of a citizen from Bashkiria to be a violation of the European Convention

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03 December 2019

Today, on 3 December 2019, the European Court of Human Rights passed the ruling with regard to an application in the interests of Rudik Minibayev from the Republic of Bashkortostan – the Strasbourg judges acknowledged that the article of the European Convention guaranteeing the prohibition of torture and brutal treatment was violated with regard to the applicant, as well as was the right to effective investigation. In its today’s ruling the court pointed out that the article guaranteeing the right to freedom and personal integrity was violated with regard to the applicant. Due to that, he was awarded a compensation for moral damage in the amount of 25 350 Euros.

On 4 May 2006, Rudik Minibayev was taken to the District Department of the Interior of the Birsk town of the Republic of the Bashkortostan to be interrogated in the framework of the criminal case, on which he had been previously interrogated several times in the capacity of a witness. According to Minibayev, the investigative operational team members started to force him to confess of raping and murdering a girl – they used handcuffs and a rope, tied him up in an uncomfortable position, put a plastic bag on his head.
 
Having failed to obtain confession from Rudik, the law-enforcement officers took him to the investigative department of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Bashkortostan. According to Minibayev, they started to torture him there again – the Republican Prosecutor’s Office investigator threatened to poke Rudik’s eye out and cut his ear off with a surgery lancet. Yielding to pressure, the young man agreed to sign a confession.  

On 6 May 2006, when having been brought to the Pre-Trial Detention Facility the duty paramedic registered bodily injuries on Minibayev in the form of huge green-colored extravasations in the area of the shoulder joint and the subscapular area on the right.     
 
The check with regard to the torture complaint was started only on 16 June 2006, and on 26 June Senior Investigator of the Major Cases Section of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Bashkortostan Mr Aitkulov issued a refusal to initiate criminal proceedings due to the absence of the element of crime.    
 
On 20 July 2006, Minibayev’s mother applied to the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance.     

In total, for the period from 2006 to 2014, in the course of the pre-investigative check, conducted by the investigative authorities with regard to the fact of Minibayev’s bodily injuries, six refusals to initiate criminal proceedings have been issued, five of which were quashed as illegal ones.  

On 20 November 2009, having exhausted all the remedies available, the lawyers with the Committee Against Torture submitted an application on behalf of Rudik Minibayev to the European Court of Human Rights.   

On 18 May 2009, Minibayev was declared guilty of having committed a crime under item “b” part 2 of Article 131 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“rape by a group of persons by previous concert”), and sentenced to 8 years’ prison term with serving the time in the standard regime penal colony.  

Today, the European Court of Human Rights passed the ruling on the application in favor of the applicant.   

The Strasbourg judges declared that a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention of Human rights took place in the material and procedural aspects, since the authorities failed to prevent brutal treatment, committed with regard to the applicant and failed to conduct an effective investigation of his complaint about the brutal treatment. The court also pointed out that the article guaranteeing the right to freedom and personal integrity was violated with regard to his illegal apprehension.     

The European Court obliged the Russian Federation to pay 25 350 Euro to the applicant as a compensation for moral damage.   

“In the opinion of the European Court of Human Rights, the violence, which Rudik Minibayev was subjected to, reached the level of inhumane and degrading treatment, – comments lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Ekaterina Vanslova. – The court deemed the applicant’s arguments justified due to the fact that, among other things, the authorities limited themselves to conducting pre-investigative checks, which in their own right do not correspond to the conventional requirements.  Among other things, the court pointed out at a month’s delay when conducting medical expert examination of Minibayev’s injuries, as well as at the investigator’s selectiveness during evaluation of some witnesses’ evidence as well as of Minibayev himself”.